Thursday, 29 October 2020


I think we all try to do our best when it comes to our litter. Even so there are a group of people, boaters and pedestrian alike who don't really care for either the canals or their general environment.

Mothers with their children who are too busy on their phone to notice the kids dropping litter. The local yobs dumping their Kebab wrappers. The town boozers who just leave their empty cans all over the place.

Then there is the new craze of magnet fishing. People dragging crap out of the canal on the pretext of keeping the canal clean only to leave the towpath covered in useless rusty artifacts that even the scrappy doesn't want. "Someone is coming along later to collect it!" No they're not! They are only interested in the 'prize'. A gun maybe? Or as happened jus a few weeks ago, in Banbury, a live grenade! 

Some 'magnet' fishers have now taken to grappling hooks
Boaters seem to be keen on leaving their latex gloves on the tow path and currently, having never seen a face mask anywhere but in a hospital, they are sprouting up like dandelions. On the streets, on the towpath, in parks, everywhere. Where is the logic of that. Potentially toxic bio-hazard just dumped on the streets. 

A favourite of mine is prop-crap. It seems that everyone these days when they stop to take the plastic bags and shit off their propeller they just dump it on the path.

Only a small amount but  back in the water it will
 hold up someone else.
Never a thought to who is going to remove it, what yob will kick it back in. No just leave it there! What is wrong with putting it in a carrier bag and leaving it on the roof until you get to a disposal point?

Is it just some kind of weird cult that holds the roof to be a sacred place and not to be sullied with the crapsam and jetsam of the water. Or maybe they have a snot bubble blocking their thought process. I dunno what it is, anyone?

Tuesday, 27 October 2020


 I am moored once gain at Tooley's on an official private mooring, I pay to moor here! As we have seen a few posts ago I have had to line the side of my boat with tyres to stop the 'Giblets' from damaging my boat.

Most are good, some are not. There is sufficient room for two boats to pass, but even one boat often has trouble getting by. A common excuse is, "the wind caught me". This only happens if the Giblet 'hovers' rather than ties up on the ample moorings on the towpath side.
Now in order to do this properly it requires one thing! The free end of the center line needs to be at the back of the boat. It needs to be there so that one can step off the boat with the line and immediately be in control of the boat and bring it to the side. The boat of course should be close to the tow path and not Moi! There is no point having the line screwed up in a ball on the roof or even 'cheesed' next to the mid-point fixing.

To arrive from under the glass walkway (in the pic above) and come to rest against Moi is just bad form. I might have to start charging a mooring fee, £5 should be enough.

In all fairness I don't seem to get hit as much as when Kilsby wasn't there and I was alongside the wharf directly, giving the Giblets another 8 feet of space, but then I didn't have all the tyres for protection so I would have noticed it more especially as even the slightest bump showed up on the freshly painted gunnels!

So the point of this story is "Jenny B" and Mr Grumpy. Mr Grumpy was waiting for the workmen to open the bridge. Instead of mooring on the tow path (the right thing to do) he decided to come to rest against me and then went inside his boat. When the bridge opened he was nowhere to be seen! Eventually he came out. He was lined up with the bridge, so when they opened it he should have been able drive straight through, but for some reason he steered, left hand tiller, into the wall and had to take another crack at it. Reversing back he started the have a go at me, I was by this time on the back deck, I love watching these Giblets. I said nothing! 

He saw me watching and offered, "The wind caught me".

"Well you should have tied up on the other side and the wind wouldn't have been a problem."

And then it came, "Well you shouldn't be moored there". 

"Oh", says I, "Like I didn't see that coming. You have 16 feet of space and I am to blame because you can't drive a boat?"

"I am getting pissed of with people like you on the canal," he said.

Note: I am properly moored on a private mooring and 'I' am the reason he cant drive his boat. 

His next obstacle after this 16 foot space, and the 10 foot wide bridge hole, is an 8 foot wide lock and he made a fuck up of that!

So now and for evermore I will be the evil genie in the story that he makes up that he will tell to anyone that will listen, and my crime? I was moored up minding my own business! If you should come across him please, please point him to this page.

PS Hire boat just came through, absolute text book driving. Moored on the tow path side brought the boat to a halt using the Center line and waited quietly for the bridge to open.

PPS 14:10 Jenny B came past, passing in the opposite direction. Said he wanted to apologize, and signaled me over, I was standing on the wharf under a shelter out of the rain. For one I wasn't going to get wet, for another I don't trust angry Giblets.

Monday, 26 October 2020


Have you been to Banbury lately? Well you wont have missed much! Currently Tooley's has two 'project' boats. "NB Hardy" was the last wooden boat to be built by Nurser at Braunston in 1940. Mr Nurser did 'oversee' the building of other wooden boats after Hardy but he no longer owned the yard. "NB Kilsby" belongs to the Oxford Canal trust, It was built in 1911. It has cast iron sides and an ELM bottom. It appears to be a tri-keelson bottom, but I am thinking it is not.

Boats are coming and going into the dry dock all the time. Most for blacking, some for welding jobs/prop shaft changes etc. NB Bones arrived early October for blacking and a prop shaft/stern tube change. I always look forward to seeing Mort Bones. My fur baby Molly is firmly in love with her fur baby BOOTS and he with her. However that aside it is an opportunity for us to catch up with each other and friends in the area. Moving on!
er prop shaft was no where near as bad as mine. In fact I had trouble finding her shaft wear, whereas mine was plainly obvious!
The canal itself is still busy due to the late start to the season.

Redevelopment of the canal area moves apace. An imaginative original idea to cover the canal with a glass roof fell at the first hurdle. Boaters were up in arms and said as much. You see, not only would the smoke of boat stoves have dirtied the glass, but exhaust fumes would have been contained under the glass and the out come would be boats would no longer be allowed to moor 'in town'.
Still not accessible by the public, the new foot bridge was installed the first week in September, not the original design. The old bridge had character, this new one none, but hey-ho. 
There is a 200 bed Premier Inn being built on the left bank between the multi-story car park, next to the Castle Quay center, and the canal down towards Rolt Bridge. It is eight storeys high and currently holds command over the Banbury skyline. 

There are supposed to be shops/restaurants on the ground floor.
On the other side of the canal, where the little two storey car park was, there will be an 8 screen multiplex cinema!

As the story goes the original developer said "There is no way a six screen Multiplex can make money in Banbury". They then sold the development to the current developer. They also said, "There is no way a six screen Multiplex can make money in Banbury". Allegedly the council said "Build an 8 screen Multiplex and we will pay for it". 

So what we can assume from this is the council are a bunch of MORONS.

The structures on both sides of the canal will add to the wind tunnel effect and block phone and internet signals. Which it does quite adequately now! SO God help us all! 

But behind all of this is the prospect of an Aldi/Lidl on the site of the old Sports Center. This will come complete with a multi-storey!

Edits underlined.

Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Banbury Lift Bridge

 A chap passed me today. Commercial boat. 70 foot. Hiab type crane in the front, CRT label on the cabin we are  talking about an experienced professional boater. He moored, and went to the bridge. To raise it the instructions are very clear. C/W to raise, this because I made sure that it was clear. I painted it! But yet he still wound the mechanism ac/w at least 6 times before he bothered to read the instructions. 

This ignorance is why the bridge keeps on breaking. Engineers were out at the weekend to fix the bridge. 

If you are coming to Banbury the bridge mechanism is C/W to raise and AC/W to lower. Please pay attention!

Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Mooring In Banbury

So here I am moored back in Banbury for the winter. Lets hope I don't end up staying through next summer, again! 

Slightly different arrangement this year. Do you remember Kilsbsy I reported on at the beginning of the year? Well this time it is on the wharf and I am moored outside it. 

This of course means there are tyres along the wharf, there are tyres between me and Kilsby and due to the proximity to the lift bridge there are tyres on my outside, about 9 of them.
Of course this will not stop me getting hit, but it will cushion the blow as other boaters seeing the tyres seem to use the tyres as aiming points despite there being a 16 foot gap for them to get through.

Sunday, 4 October 2020

Angry Farmers and Jaspers

 For my second holiday this year we once again put France to one side even though we had tickets and have our own house out there. Instead we decided to go down the Thames to Brentford and back. I have done the Thames many times, but Susan has only covered Oxford to Lechlade and Oxford to Sonning. I bought a two week ticket and we set off in early September and returning in the latter half of the month. Susan had a great time. Lots of boats in September so moorings were at a premium. 

One particular farmer, the guy who robs Henley, called at about 10.30 demanding his money. He didn't seem to understand that he had a duty of care with regards the mooring and it doesn't matter if there are 40 signs about, if the sign where I am moored is obscured and I cant see it then it is his responsibility to make it visible and not my job to hunt around for another, I'M ON FUCKING HOLIDAY! Of course if I had paid online, as the sign said I should, I would not have been able to bend his ear about his lack of customer service and failure to adhere to the HS Act!

High light of the trip was hammering in a pin through a wasps nest. Them Jaspers were not very happy I can tell you. We both sustained  at least a dozen hits. I got 4 in about a minute at the top of my arse crack, 5 on my face and several other spread around. Susan unfortunately got a couple on the back of her hand which swelled up and a few across her bikini line and around her boobies. She was also not very happy!

Moral; If the sign says NO MOORING it means NO FECKING MOORING